Babylist combines URL and IRL engagement with a virtual showroom
Whether shopping for clothes, toys, books, furniture or electronics, consumers shopping for baby items can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available, especially online. For more than a decade, Birth list has helped make it smoother to find, save and buy items, thanks in large part to its robust content strategy. Now that its users rely more on digital channels and content to make purchasing decisions, Babylist is reaching a new frontier of engagement with its Virtual Crib Showroomwhich builds on the success of the company’s physical pop-up experience in Venice, California.
Thanks to quarterly surveys, consumer panels and individual UX research, Babylist was able to master its content strategy. “From all of this information, we’ve found that our audience, especially during COVID, relies heavily on our content to understand what to sign up for and even how to use the products,” said Lee Anne Grant, VP President of Revenue for Babylist in an interview with Retail Touch Points.
Although creating and amplifying content through email, video, social media and its site has helped Babylist build credibility and drive user engagement, “one thing we’ve never been in measure to help them is the tactile physical experience with the products,” Grant noted. Babylist used the Californian pop-up to venture into this world, and the virtual showroom, which was developed in partnership with Obsesshelps bridge that context gap even further.
A virtual tour shows the products in real contexts
As consumers venture into Cribs’ virtual showroom, they digitally walk through the floor plan of the home used to simulate the “IRL” experience. They can venture through different vignettes, such as a living room, kitchen or backyard, and see a myriad of products “in situ”. Once consumers click on a product hotspot, they can access in-depth content including photos, videos, product descriptions, and even blogs and educational resources.
To bring this more contextual experience to life, Babylist had to create a rich library of content – ranging from TikTok videos to YouTube product tutorials, videos and photographs – in a branded content studio. “We have created approximately 181 new content to fulfill our ongoing mission to educate and support the consumer,” explained Grant. Babylist takes the educational aspects of this offer seriously; in fact, when defining the objectives of the experiment, “the word ‘sales’ was never mentioned. Goals are around engagement, content creation, sharing and the Net Promoter Score of those who live the experience,” said Grant, adding that “our editorial director led the process of selecting the products that would be featured in house because we are a very editorially driven company.
Creation of “parent-centric” content designed for accuracy and engagement
After combing through Babylist’s top-performing articles to gauge consumer interests, needs, and challenges, the team determined which persistent resources could be used as-is and which needed to be updated for accuracy. and topical. Babylist then integrated the products of 13 different brand partners in the space. “It allowed us to introduce certain products that are first to market into the experience and then create content around those items,” Grant said. The whole experience, which extends of them levels and new rooms, has more than 650 some products.
Babylist used its in-person showroom in Los Angeles as a roadmap for the virtual iteration. The “IRL” showroom was very focused on user experience, brand growth and marketing, Grant noted, which allowed the team to create a “parent-centric” experience.
Although the physical showroom featured hundreds of products, they were staged in an authentic and integrated way, not in an obvious or forced way. Through visitor surveys, Grant learned that consumers felt they were in a “pressure-free environment” that allowed them to browse and experience products freely and in a more tangible way. The virtual showroom was a way to bring that relaxing experience into the virtual world and create a dynamic testing ground that will help Babylist better understand content preferences and consumer consumption habits.
While the goal of any team is to create content that drives engagement and action, accuracy is even more essential for the Babylist business. “We have very strict editorial standards when it comes to security,” noted Grant. “We want to make sure that the content displays our products in a very safe and accurate way.” For example, the managing editor scoured the virtual exhibit hall to make sure there were no safety risks, like images of blankets in cribs: “We want to make sure we educate our parents intelligently.”
Collect data to refine the experience
Babylist also worked closely with the Obsess team to ensure they were building the right experience for their goals and tracking the most meaningful KPIs. “In the case of Babylist, the company was looking to increase brand awareness, highlight its registry product, and entice expectant parents to read and watch its content,” explained Neha Singh, Founder and CEO of Babylist. ‘Obsess in an interview with Retail Touch Points. “With that in mind, we created an experience where Babylist’s brand was prevalent, using their heart-shaped logo as a hotspot image and strategically placing content throughout the showroom. We We’ve also made the functionality of adding items to a buyer’s registry as seamless as possible: once a consumer is logged in, they can add to their registry with a single click.
In terms of KPIs, Obsess measures average time spent in the virtual showroom as well as content and register interactions per user. The company also tracks general engagement metrics such as interactions per user and number of rooms visitedSingh explained, “As we see live store data coming in, we’ll be able to assess how the expectant parents are moving through the space and we can make adjustments either to the current store, or on future stores.”
Babylist is now in “promotion mode” for the virtual showroom and will integrate it into all major brand channels including email, social media, the company homepage and the Babylist mobile app. . The company will use this showroom and another Obsess-powered project planned for later in 2022 to gauge the role the metaverse will play in the brand’s future media and business strategies, according to Grant. “We’ll have two different experiences for our families to use, and depending on how well those perform, we’ll look to develop in different ways.”